Putting Your Ski Gear to Bed
SPRING HAS ARRIVED! Ski season isn’t quite over, but if you’re moving on to other activities, here is a checklist of things you can do to make sure your gear is in good shape & ready to go for next season.
Get them tuned so they’re ready to go for next season, but leave the wax un-scraped, as a storage wax to protect the skis from damage, rust, and drying out over the summer. If the bases are left bare, they can dry out and actually shrink back from the level of the base edge, leaving you with skis that are railed, or edge high, which will ski badly next season. Or, knowing that early season conditions will likely be thin and scratchy, skip the tune and just do a storage wax. Examine bindings for damaged parts. Check binding screws. Tighten any loose screws, or have damaged screw holes repaired.
Pull out the liners and footbeds to dry. Don’t dry near a heat source to avoid damage to heat mold-able liners and beds, just air dry them. Check for loose buckle attachment hardware. Tighten as needed, or replace buckles damaged beyond repair. Tech binding users- tighten the heel fitting, which is held on by a long wood screw. This screw looks like a Philips, but it’s a #2 Pozidrive. You can use a Philips, but be careful not to damage the screw head. It should be snug, but be careful not to strip it- it just threads into the boot plastic. If the screw doesn’t snug up nicely, consider removing it, putting some epoxy in the hole and bedding the heel fitting with epoxy. Put the liners back in shells, making sure everything is overlapped correctly. Buckle boots loosely.
Check the tip and tail attachments, make any needed repairs. Put the cheat sheets in between the glue sides. These have two purposes- to make the skins easier to pull apart, and prolonging the glue life. We are not big fans of using cheat sheets during the day while touring, it’s just one more thing to hassle with (unless your skins are really hard to pull apart). We do like cheat sheets for overnight or long term storage- they help prolong the life of the glue. Dry the skins in a cool place, not near a heat source, or in the sun. Heat is the enemy of skin glue. Store them in a cool, dry place.
Wash your base layers, insulating layers and shells with a manufacturer recommended product, following the care directions. We like Nikwax Basewash, Woolwash, Techwash, and TX Direct. Why put away dirty, stinky ski clothes and let them fester all summer?
Take shovel and probe out of you pack and dry. You might be surprised how much wetness and condensation can collect in the tools pocket of your pack from a winters worth of use. Check for damage. Remove batteries from your beacon so they don’t corrode over the summer. Don’t just chuck those batteries- kill them by using in a headlamp or other device.